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"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam

The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.

Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.

Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!

Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.

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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "William Imoko" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 11:18:10 +0200

Dear Sir/Madam.

I am DR. William Imoko a citizen of South African Director of Contract Awarding Committee of ANGLO GOLD ASHANTI LIMITED I know that this letter will be a surprise since you do not know me in person; I got your contact from business guide.
It is my pleasure to inform you of a transaction involving the sum of Fifty Million United States Dollars ($50, Million) to a foreign account for safe keeping pending my arrival and my colleagues for the sharing of the fund in your country.
This money originated from an over-invoiced contract executed for the co-operation some years ago. On completion and inspection of the contract, the payment voucher was approved and the money involved made available for the payment to the contractors. We are high profile officials therefore we are not liable to come for the claim of this money. We are looking for a competent and honest company or individual abroad like yours whose particulars will be tendered by us here in South Africa as one of the Sub-contractors that executed the contract for the collection of this money.
Upon due consideration, although we have not met before as to know the extent of your honesty and ours, I personally want to believe that you will not sit on our money once finally transfer into your account. It is on this note that I considered it proper to write you asking for your consent, permission and support to transfer this money into your account. You should not fear any risk because we have concluded arrangements to safeguard you in this transaction but at the same time we would not like you to publicize this transaction for our own safety. Therefore it requires a high level of secrecy, and confidence.
We will discuss the sharing modalities if we get any response from you and the requirement we need to execute this transaction: I shall expect an immediate reply from you if you are willing and capable to handle this deal. Please note that all correspondence should be strictly through the above Phone number and Email address.
Note we have made all arrangement with the one of the directors with South Africa Reserve bank on how to transfer this money to your account as soon as we receive your response it will not take more than thirty banking working days for the transaction to be conclude and it is 100% risk free.
Thank you and God bless.


DR. William Imoko
Phone: +27 785 711024

Anti-fraud resources: